A little background about of the Seven Deadly Sins
Of the Manga and Anime
Having sold over 10 million copies worldwide, Nanatsu No Taizai or The Seven Deadly Sins is a highly popular Japanese manga series that’s the brainchild of master writer and illustrator Nakaba Suzuki. The series started appearing regularly in Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine starting October, 2012 and was later given the form of volumes (tankobons), with the first volume released in February, 2013 in Japan. A total of 16 volumes have been published since then.
Later, the manga was adapted into a television anime of 24 weekly episodes that aired from October 5, 2014 to March 29, 2015.
Of the Story
The story is set in a fictional place named Britannia (Buritania), situated in Europe during the middle ages. It constitutes several kingdoms including the Kingdom of Liones, Kingdom of Danafor, Kingdom of Edinburgh, Fairy King’s Forest and more.
It’s the time of heavily armored knights and other clans like Demons, Goddesses, Fairies, Vampires and Giants, all possessing powerful and magical abilities. So, the die-hard fans of anime like Hunter x Hunter are sure to love this one too!
The anime series begins ten years after a group of seven independent knights, considered the most powerful of all the knights in the kingdom of Liones, were falsely framed by the Holy Knights for the assassination of Great Holy Knight Zaratras. They had gained widespread recognition for committing grievous crimes and carving seven beasts’ symbols onto their bodies. Each one of them had also committed one of the seven deadly sins - envy, pride, wrath, lust, greed, sloth and gluttony.
Ten years after Zaratras's assassination, the Holy Knights have now captured the king of Liones. The Seven Deadly Sins along with the king’s third daughter Princess Elizabeth are on a mission to free Liones from the oppressive rule of Holy Knights.
Here’s a brief character analysis of each one of the Seven Deadly Sins, starting with their captain Meliodas.
Meliodas (Dragon's Sin of Wrath)
Meliodas is the protagonist of the Nanatsu No Taizai or Seven Deadly Sins anime/manga series. He’s the captain of the group, owner of the Boar Hat bar and the bearer of the dragon symbol (carved at the top of his left arm). It is Meliodas’ belief that he qualified for the Seven Deadly Sins group as he failed to save his homeland Danafor and a very important woman in his life named ‘Liz’ (actually his lover). In reality, it was Meliodas himself who had lost control in his wrath and ended up destroying Danafor in a mad rage. Hence, committing the sin of wrath.
Meliodas has a child-like innocence that has always been a camouflage for him to hide his true identity of a raging monster. Although he looks quite young, and is only five feet tall, Meliodas is incredibly powerful and more than 3000 years old. Being the head of the Seven Deadly Sins, Meliodas exhibits his superhuman strength whenever the need arises. Furthermore, his emerald eyes, messy blond hair and lack of facial hair give Meliodas a rather convincing adolescent look.
Some of the dominant traits that define Meliodas’ personality are – equanimity, fearlessness, frankness, bawdiness, strong sense of justice and extreme anger.
Meliodas maintains a very calm personality regardless of his Sin of Wrath title. But his anger knows no bounds when his friends or companions are harmed. At heart, Meliodas is a merciful and kind person who dislikes killing and would rather pardon a person than taking his/her life. But, his rage and dark side get the better of him on many occasions.
Meliodas is over 3,000 years old and was well acquainted with the Ten Commandments (ten extraordinarily powerful elite warriors from the Demon Clan). He was a Holy Knight himself in the kingdom of Danafor before he burnt it down in a fit of rage. He had led the Seven Deadly Sins team in several successful missions, for instance, the victory over vampires in the battle for the kingdom of Edinburgh, before the group was infamously framed and disbanded ten years ago.
Being the captain of the Seven Deadly Sins, Meliodas holds many powers and magical abilities. His superhuman strength, despite his small stature, makes it very easy for him to crush even steel with bare hands. There’s a mysterious black mark on his forehead that is only revealed when Meliodas brings his full power into play. The mark grants him some special abilities, making him invincible. On some occasions, the aura emitted by Meliodas is the same as that of a demon. At such times, the right side of his body, from the right knee upwards, becomes covered in a black spiral pattern.
Meliodas can travel at the speed of sound and his swordsmanship is second to none. He’s seen using a broken sword for most part of the anime series and yet is able to overpower many Holy Knights all by himself.
Lostvayne – It’s a sacred demon-splitting sword which Meliodas had earlier sold at a pawn shop to obtain funding for his bar. It’s later returned to him by another member of the Seven Deadly Sins, Merlin, who had bought it and kept it safe for him.
Liz’s sword – Although it appears like any ordinary sword, it gives Meliodas immense powers whenever he wields it, increasing his strength exponentially. It was presented to Meliodas by Liz, when she found out that he never uses a real sword in battles.
Dragon handle – It is Meliodas’ primary choice of weapon and is actually a sword with a broken blade. Its hilt has the special ability to create an immensely huge dragon-like ethereal creature, only visible to the target.
Full counter Ability – This ability enables Meliodas to reflect all attacks back at the opponent, thus making his power equivalent to that of the enemy.
Hellblaze – It’s a mysterious ability that makes Meliodas release black flames capable of nullifying even the regeneration of immortal enemies.
All in all, Meliodas is a pretty exciting and intense character in the Nanatsu No Taizai/The Seven Deadly Sins series, and a worthy focal point of this epic series!
Diane (Serpent’s Sin of Envy)
Diane is the second one to join the Seven Deadly Sins. Like all members of the Giant Clan, she is huge compared to normal human beings, at over 30 feet tall.
In addition to her immense size, she has a childlike face like most other deadly sins, sports brown pigtails, and wears studded gauntlets and an orange leotard. Her body is well-developed and curvaceous. Regardless of her youthful appearance, Diane is around 750 years old, the equivalent of 15 human years. Her serpent symbol can be seen on the outer area of her left thigh and she represents the sin of envy among the seven deadly sins.
The earlier part of Nanatsu No Taizai series shows her wearing very ragged clothing, until she’s given a new set of clothes by King. Until ten years ago, when the Seven Deadly Sins were disbanded, Diane used to be a Holy Knight as well and could be seen wearing orange full-body armor, topped with a unique helmet just like the other Deadly Sins.
Diane comes across as a very friendly person and has immense confidence in her abilities. So much so that she considers Holy Knights quite weak compared to herself. She cares a lot about Meliodas, the leader of Seven Deadly Sins and gets very delighted whenever he compliments her on something. Her feelings for Meliodas are so strong that she even conquers her fears for him.
Diane can be seen throwing temper tantrums and getting very jealous whenever Meliodas gets close to other girls or makes perverted remarks at them. Although she repeatedly says that she doesn’t have any interest in human beings, you can see her selflessly saving people in danger. No matter how strong she appears, Diane is emotionally fragile at heart and constantly fears loneliness.
Diane left the Giant Clan several hundred years ago when she was a small child as she never liked fighting. Later she meets King (from the Fairy Clan; the same person who joins Seven Deadly Sins later) who had lost his memory. She makes him her best buddy. Both of them continue to be great friends and even confess their love for each other at one point. This happens just before King gets flashbacks of his past and leaves Diane, promising to return. But he comes back only to wipe all memories of him from Diane’s mind. She then returns to the Giant Clan and trains to become a strong Giant warrior.
Diane leaves her village and Clan once again (15 years ago) and gets into a fight with a group of knights. She’s protected by Meliodas and develops strong feelings for him as he treats her like any normal girl. She goes on to join Seven Deadly Sins and helps them in several missions before the group gets disbanded.
Being from the Giant Clan, and being of enormous size, Diane has immense powers and abilities. Her strength knows no bounds and she can easily battle the likes of Meliodas and other powerful Knights on her own. Furthermore, she has the power to break meteors with one punch.
Although Diane’s extremely agile and fast, her huge body frame gets in her way. Her speed increases exponentially whenever she reduces herself to the size of a human. Her body can withstand multiple mortal blows, having the ability to carry on despite being pierced through thighs and shoulders. In a nutshell, Diane is not someone who can be harmed easily.
Gideon - It’s a war hammer that was specially designed for warriors belonging to the Giant Clan. Diane considers it her sacred treasure. Made of steel, Gideon weighs around 2200 pounds and has the potential of drawing out the maximum of Diane’s ability.
Creation – This special ability exclusive to Giant Clan warriors who’re deeply connected to nature gives Diane the power to manipulate earth. This ability increases multiple times whenever Diane uses her sacred weapon Gideon.
Although she’s considered the weakest of all Seven Deadly Sins by some fans of the anime, Diane has many amazing qualities that make her a force to reckon with!
Ban (Fox’s Sin of Greed)
Third one to join Seven Deadly Sins after Meliodas and Diane, Ban represents the sin of greed and sports a fox symbol on his body. He shares a very friendly relationship as well as rivalry with Meliodas. Both of them can be often seen engaging in friendly battles to gauge their strengths. Ban gets imprisoned and is sent to Baste Dungeon after the Seven Deadly Sins’ disbandment. However, he escapes from there after hearing the news that Meliodas was still alive.
Ban has the appearance of tall muscular man with a Fox symbol located right above his waist, on the left side of his body. His abdominal muscles can put any seasoned gymnast to shame! With a pair of scarlet-red eyes, pale skin, thin eyebrows and light colored hair, he certainly stands out in a crowd!
There’s a large scar on the left side of Ban’s neck that was given to him by none other than Meliodas! And he likes to flaunt it too!! Ten years ago, before the disbandment of the Seven Deadly Sins, Ban used to wear red full-body armor and a helmet just like the other sins. Now he can be seen wearing a red-colored jacket with pants and shoes of the same color. His spiked hairstyle gives him a very new-age and trendy look.
Ban mostly acts on impulse and comes across as a very passionate man. So the moment he hears that his captain is alive, it doesn’t take much time for him to escape the prison. There are also clear indications of selfishness and greediness in his behavior. However, he has a softer side too, which becomes evident when one of the characters falls unconscious and he rushes to her side and provides food in exchange of information. He looks up to Meliodas with great respect as he sees in him an individual who accepted him just as he was.
He gets easily elated and surprised, for example his astonishment knows no bounds when he discovers that Meliodas’ ally, the pig Hawk could actually talk! He holds a deep resentment for the Demon Clan, as he holds it responsible for the death of his lover Elaine.
Not much is known about the early stages of Ban’s life, besides the fact that he had a pretty bad childhood. Before joining the Seven Deadly Sins, Ban used to be commonly referred to as Bandit Ban and had a deep desire to gain immortality. He falls in love with Elaine, the guardian of the Fountain of Youth, who is later killed by a Demon (the reason why he hates the Demon Clan). Just before she dies, Elaine makes Ban immortal by kissing him and transferring the water from the Fountain of Youth into him.
He is later accused of burning down the Fairy King’s forest, killing Elaine and drinking the water from Fountain of Youth. He’s executed 33 times, but none of the executions have any effect on him. Ban is befriended by Meliodas in the prison and eventually ends up joining the Seven Deadly Sins.
Ban possesses a great amount of strength, although not of the same level as his captain Meliodas but good enough to destroy the huge Baste dungeon. He’s incredibly fast and can dodge quick strikes by the enemy in a manner that he can use their attacks to give himself a haircut and beard trimming!
Rapier – Ban is seen in possession of a rapier in one of the initial episodes when Elizabeth introduces the Seven Deadly Sins.
Three section staff – Ban could be seen wielding the three section staff, having amazing powers during his Bandit days. It’s a flail weapon that has three different metal or wooden staffs connected to each other by a rope or metal rings. The weapon has immense power. It can break bones, crush flesh and rip out a demon’s heart if wielded by the right person.
Immortality – Ban gains this ability by drinking the water from the Fountain of Youth. He cannot be killed as this ability helps him regenerate lost organs, wounds, limbs and can even revive him from complete incineration and decapitation.
Snatch - It’s a magical ability that enables Ban to rob people of their physical abilities and objects, thereby weakening them significantly. He can even steal their body parts with this ability.
King (Grizzly Bear’s Sin of Sloth)
King is the bearer of the grizzly bear symbol and represents the Sin of Sloth among the seven deadly sins. He is around 1300 years old and his real name is Fairy King Harlequin. As the name suggests, he used to be the king of Fairies at one point in time.
King is also the brother of Elaine (Ban’s lover) and vows to kill Ban upon hearing the rumors suggesting Ban’s involvement in the killing of his sister. He decides to join the Seven Deadly Sins and stop Holy Knights after learning that it wasn’t Ban’s fault.
King has the appearance of a young boy having orange eyes, high forehead, orange-colored hair and thin eyebrows. Although he is from the Fairy Clan, you don’t see any visible wings on him. His general attire is a hooded orange and green sweatshirt, quarter-length pants, navy blue undershirt and buttoned up shoes.
In his human form, King has a comparatively ragged and beefy appearance, and can be seen wearing an extra-large size of the same clothes he wears normally. The Grizzly Bear symbol that identifies him as one of the Seven Deadly Sins is located on the outer side of his left leg, just above the ankle.
His first appearance in the anime shows him as a hard-core ally of the Holy Knights determined to get rid of anyone who stands in his path, including Ban whom he’s after. It’s his sheer laziness evident from his levitating posture that gets him labeled as the Sin of Sloth.
King is a highly emotional person at heart who cries often and easily too. He prefers the company of Diana and Meliodas more than anyone else, but is reluctant to admit it. King’s caring side comes forth when he decides to join the Seven Deadly Sins, claiming that he only did it for Diane. Although he appears very kind on the surface, you don’t see any sign of remorse on his face when he harms people he hates.
King used to head the Fairy King’s Forest (a place on the border of human and Fairy realms) around 700 years ago and reside there with his sister Elaine and other fairies, leading a peaceful existence with the humans. He had no interest whatsoever in humans, but the actions of his close friend Helbram would drive him out of the forest every now and then. He goes to save his friend Helbram on one such occasion, and is attacked by an armored human from behind. The result – he forgets everything. It is at this time that he is saved by a young Diane.
King is an extremely skilled and formidable warrior who can very skilfully handle his spear. His strength enables him to overpower any Holy Knight by himself. As he belongs to the Fairy species, there are a number of magical abilities that he’s blessed with genetically. Although he has immense power, King is physically not as strong as the other Seven Deadly Sins. Nevertheless, he more than makes up for that deficiency with the Spirit Spear Chastiefol, his sacred treasure. His agility, durability and endurance levels are also second to none.
Helbram’s Helmet – It’s a special helmet that was purchased 700 years ago by Helbram from a human being, especially for King. However, he ended up using it himself for disguising his identity. After Helbram’s death, his spirit took refuge in the helmet and helps King whenever he wears it.
Spirit Spear Chastiefol – It is the King’s sacred treasure in the form of a spear crafted from a sacred tree in the Fairy realm. Comparatively stronger than steel, the spear possesses many mysterious qualities inherited directly from the sacred tree.
Levitation – Being from the Fairy realm, King has the mystical ability of levitation and can get into the flight mode whenever he wishes. It helps him immensely in moving quickly through the air, thereby evading enemy attacks.
Transformation – This ability helps King in altering his physical appearance, including his clothes. It requires a tremendous amount of concentration to implement and often leaves King very exhausted.
Disaster – Another phenomenal ability, this one gives King complete control over matter at the molecular level, granting him authority over life and death. So, for instance he can change a harmless substance into a lethal toxin and a minor scratch into a deadly wound.
Gowther (Goat’s Sin of Lust)
The fifth to join the Seven Deadly Sins, Gowther represents the Sin of Lust and bears a symbol of a goat on his body. His actual identity is that of a doll created by an accomplished sorcerer. He’s a great lover of books and can be seen reading them frequently during his free time.
Gowther has a very feminine appearance and his normal attire comprises of a white sleeveless top worn over a grey colored long-sleeve shirt and a pair of dark colored pants. His boots are shorter than others and he can be easily mistaken for a girl! Gowther’s vision is not perfect and he needs to always have a pair of glasses on in order to see properly. He can easily change his skin color and hair style any which way he likes. The Goat symbol that makes him a part of the Seven Deadly Sins is located on the right-hand side his chest.
Gowther has a robot-like inhuman personality. He never shows any emotions and always remains analytical and spookily stoic in whatever he says or does. There’s always a dead expression on his face with his mouth constantly open in the shape of an ‘O.’ He never exhibits any signs of lust despite being labeled as Goat’s Sin of lust. Rather his constant desire for invading others could be termed as lust, as it is reflective of a strong yearning for the thing that he loves most.
Although Gowther comes across as a completely emotionless individual, he does have a soft spot for others. For instance, he protects a young boy named Pelliot who is attacked by an armored Giant. This is apparently in gratitude towards the latter for saving his life several years earlier.
Prior to becoming a member of the Seven Deadly Sins, Gowther used to be a masterpiece doll created by an accomplished sorcerer.
He too was summoned to the castle, along with fellow Deadly Sins. Believing that they were being summoned to discuss their recent defeat, they receive a major shock upon discovering Zaratras’s body there. What follows is a deceptive attack on them by the Holy Knights.
Regardless of his frail body, Gowther is blessed with some great and indomitable powers. During one of the battles, he easily slices through the armor of an armored Giant with his bare hands. He’s also in possession of an enchanted armor that prevents and suppresses the enemy power from becoming unmanageable, apart from amplifying his own strength tremendously. Even point blank attacks by the likes of Diane (Giants’ Clan member and a Deadly Sin) don’t have any effect on him. Furthermore, deadly attacks such as beheading and breaking of his neck also don’t have any impact on him as his head and neck reattach to the body on their own.
Balor’s Power Eye - It enables him to gauge an individual’s strength, spirit level, magic level and overall power level.
Twin-Bow Herritt – Considered Gowther’s sacred treasure, it’s a twin-bow created from energy which can be called forth any time Gowther wants. It works in conjunction with and draws out the full strength of his Invasion ability.
Immortality – In a way Gowther is perceived as an immortal since he survives despite getting his neck broken and his chest getting pierced with a sword.
Transformation – He can alter his skin color and the color and length of his hair any way he desires.
Invasion – A highly potent ability, Invasion enables Gowther to trap his enemies inside their own memories and allows him to read through their memories and thoughts.
Merlin (Boar’s Sin of Gluttony)
Having inherited her name from a legendary wizard, Merlin represents the Sin of Gluttony and has the symbol of a boar on her body. She’s the sixth person to join the Seven Deadly Sins. Considered the best magician in all of Britannia, Merlin owns a research lab where she conducts all kinds of experiments, collects important data and creates many magical artifacts and items.
Seen donning a violet full-body cloak ten years after the disbandment of Seven Deadly Sins, it makes her sex ambiguous. Once her cloak comes off, Merlin resembles her appearance on her wanted poster which depicts her as a young girl with long, dark hair.
Merlin’s appearance is highlighted by a red boar tattoo on the left side of her neck. It earns her the nickname "Crimson Pig." She’s very slim, tall and beautiful with three attractive beauty marks under her right eye. Her outfit comprises of a revealing long coat, with fur collar and heart-shaped buttons. She also wears hot pants and thigh-length boots.
Merlin is shown having a very mature, intelligent, calm and polite personality on one hand and a manipulative and sly nature on the other. She’s obsessed with things that are rare and eccentric, probably the reason why she runs a research laboratory and creates magical items there. She’s considered a traitor by the Deadly Sins as she had knocked down Meliodas, making him unconscious at the time when they were held responsible for Zaratras’ death.
Prior to that event, Merlin used to have a playful nature and was seen encouraging her fellow Deadly Sins that the meeting with the Great Holy Knight would involve nothing more than a scolding for a failed mission. Challenging others and making fun of them is her favorite pastime. Merlin doesn’t mind using other people as guinea pigs for her magical experiments, as long as the results are positive.
Not a lot is known about Merlin’s past, but she’s believed to have committed some sin related to her title (Sin of Gluttony), thus qualifying her for Seven Deadly Sins. She was a regular in all the Deadly Sins’ missions before they were summoned by the great Holy Knight Zaratras ten years ago, prior to their disbandment.
Having earned the title of the best magician in the entire Britannia region, Merlin had the strength to defeat some of the mightiest Holy Knights. She also easily overpowered Vivian, the most popular magician of Liones until Merlin's arrival there. Merlin is normally unaffected by magic attacks and any such aggression leaves her unscathed.
Aldan – It is Merlin’s sacred treasure which appears like a small sphere or a crystal ball which floats freely over her palm. She uses it for reconnaissance, and transfers her consciousness into it at one point of time.
Her Special abilities
Teleportation – This ability enables her to teleport herself and/or large groups of people to highly precise locations in an instant. She can also do object transition, a kind of teleportation technique which allows her to summon different objects like weapons and clothes to her allies.
Perfect cube – A spell that covers a specified area and reflects every attack back on the enemy regardless of the strength.
Location – Another magical power, this one helps Merlin in determining the exact location of a person or an item.
Absolute cancel – Using this ability, Merlin can simply place her hands on a spell and completely eliminate it from existence. However, she can’t use this technique on very powerful magic. The best she can do in that case is temporarily suspend the spell.
Magic cancel – This technique enables Merlin to cancel any particular magic spell cast on a person. However, when she does so it also cancels the effects of at least one of her own spells.
Power amplifier – Another kind of spell, it allows Merlin to significantly increase the magical abilities of her allies, thereby making them extremely powerful.
Escanor (Lion’s Sin of Pride)
Escanor is the last member to join Seven Deadly Sins and the only regular human in the group. He wears the symbol of a lion on his body and represents the Sin of Pride. There’s a unique quality in him that he becomes immensely powerful during the daytime and very submissive and frail as soon as the dusk sets in. This transformation is credited to his inherent ability known as Sunshine.
There's not a lot that has been seen of him in the series so far. He appears on the Seven Deadly Sins' 'Most Wanted' poster and makes a brief appearance in a side-story about the Sins' early missions in Edinburgh.
There’s not much known about the present appearance of Escanor, however, he used to wear a complete body armor and a unique helmet (too small for him during the daytime, especially at noon and too large during the night hours) before the group got disbanded ten years ago. His character was revealed in the Vampires of Edinburgh part of the Seven Deadly Sins story.
At that time, he appeared as a weak young man having short hair and clothes that were too large for him. But the same clothes would fit him properly during the sunlight hours. His lion symbol is located right at the center of his back.
Escanor loves to recite poetry and is fond of writing. He is overwhelmingly affectionate towards Merlin and has a soft spot for her. Quite contrary to his Sin of Pride and symbol of Lion, Merlin has a very shy and meek personality. He can often be often apologizing for almost everything, even things that are not his fault, under the false impression that he must be the cause of the trouble. Nevertheless, he’s very good at completing the tasks assigned to him, provided he’s motivated constantly.
His personality undergoes a dramatic change with the sunrise. He becomes full of pride in front of the same opponents he had been apologizing to and reasoning with earlier. Escanor shows no guilt about killing someone when he is at the peak of his ability during the sunlight hours, more so if that person has insulted him.
Escanor was a part of the Seven Deadly Sins’ mission that involved fighting with the Vampire Clan which had taken over the Kingdom of Edinburgh and threatened the peaceful existence of the entire Britannia region, including the Kingdom of Liones.
He too got invited to the castle ten years ago along with the other Deadly Sins, for a meeting with the Great Holy Knight Zaratras. As mentioned earlier, Zaratras was found killed and the Seven Deadly Sins had to disperse in a hurry after getting ambushed by the Holy Knights.
Escanor has different levels of strength at night and day time. He’s presumed to have great powers as he was a Holy Knight of the Diamond rank once. While he exhibits a meek and frail personality during the night hours, his strength easily surpasses the other six Deadly Sins during daylight hours. Even though he isn’t at his physical best at night, Escanor’s speed and agility stay the same. He can still run at extraordinarily high speeds and save himself from his opponents no matter what time it is. He does the same during his run-in with the Vampire King Izraf, and keeps dodging him the entire night and then faces him boldly once the dawn breaks.
Divine Axe Rhitta – The giant, ornate and divine axe Rhitta is Escanor’s sacred treasure. Its blade is in the shape of a crescent moon and it’s so heavy that none of the other Deadly Sins, including Meliodas (despite his immense strength) can lift it.
Large Spear – Although not as heavy as his sacred treasure, he is seen holding a large spear on some occasions ten years ago, much before the Seven Deadly Sins got disbanded.
Sunshine – This inherent ability makes Escanor emit so much light from his body that it can easily burn and melt away his opponents. Deemed the source of all life, this Sunshine ability helps him easily defeat even the most powerful enemies like the Vampire King Izraf, whom he burns down along with the castle they are fighting in.
Those are seven of the key figures in Nanatsu no Taizai, but there are tons of other unique, original and interesting characters too! If you're a shounen fan, and not into this series yet, why not give it a try? You might just become a die-hard fan!